Police have detained two people in a gruesome case involving human body parts that were found stuffed in a suitcase and scattered over a three-block radius in downtown San Francisco, authorities said late Friday.
Officers detained a man they had earlier identified as a person of interest at about 7:30 p.m. Friday, shortly after police received an anonymous tip that the person had been spotted in the Tenderloin District, according to Officer Grace Gatpandan, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Police Department.
A second person was detained there as well. Both were taken to the Hall of Justice to be questioned, Gatpandan said, but neither has been arrested.
Earlier Friday, police released photos taken from surveillance video of a man they were looking for. He was wearing a pinstriped baseball hat, a blue and orange jacket, and light blue jeans. Police described the man as white, in his 50s or 60s, about 5 foot 7, and possibly a transient.
The body parts were said to belong to an “unidentified light-skinned male,” according to the San Francisco medical examiner’s office. The remains were discovered Wednesday afternoon on 11th Street between Market and Mission streets. Officers had received a call about a suspicious package outside a Goodwill store, and made the grisly discovery when they opened the suitcase.
Investigators later found additional dismembered remains in a trash can nearby, police said.
“There was one crime scene – it was just very large,” Gatpandan told The Times Thursday.
Initially, police said they were unsure whether the remains belonged to a human or an animal.
The medical examiner’s office is still working to identify the dead man and determine the manner of death. The state Bureau of Forensic Services' DNA laboratory will be needed to identify him, according to the medical examiner.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the San Francisco Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444.
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